Leica Travel to the third world

Would you take your beloved Leicas to a poor country?

  • I do it all the time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • First world only for me and my Leicas, please

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
I'm interested in undertaking a trip to the Philippines or Africa in the next year or so.

I have a Nikon D5 and am considering the purchase of a Leica X-U.

I'm curious to know how much of a risk there is of theft of very expensive cameras if you take them on trips to lower income countries. It seems like the more adventurous among us take them pretty much anywhere, even to places where the cost of a Leica X-U or Q represents more than the annual income of most people you will meet.

Do people who live in low-income countries tend to know how expensive and desirable Leica cameras are, or are there so few of them (and therefore little knowledge of them) that you are relatively safe?

Does anyone have stories/info?
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
I just got back from three weeks in the Philippines, two weeks in Calapan and a week in Manila. Took my MM, MP, 18 SEM, 50 DR and 35 FLE everywhere. There definitely people in Manila that recognized the bodies I was using and would ask me about it but nobody ever said anything to me in Calapan. I never felt like I was going to be the victim of theft but I either had a relative with me or I stayed in well populated areas when I was out alone. Some of my cousins in Manila mentioned that if your sitting in traffic it's not uncommon for someone to open your car door, grab your bag / purse and run into one of the alleys and I can easily see that happening. In Calapan, I rarely saw anyone shooting with anything other than a camera phone so I felt like I really stood out. I'm really interested in picking up an X-U now, that would have made for some amazing images in Mindoro.

My gear is insured so theft isn't a big concern of mine, I've been mugged in the city I live in before and I expect it will happen again sooner or later. The claims process is fast and easy and I'm not going to get hurt (or potentially killed) over my gear, which can be replaced easily. Life too short to worry about your gear and not take pictures, IMHO.
 
D

dalethorn

Guest
I'd highly recommend covering any red buttons etc., and also choose a bag that looks old and cheap.
 
Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
Mijo, thanks for such a detailed response. I daresay an insurance policy for my equipment is in my future. Do you have a recommendation for a company that specializes in high-end gear?

If you don't mind my asking, I am new to Leica and don't know the acronyms - what's a MM, MP, SEM? Are those Leica bodies, and the 50/35 Leica lenses?
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
My gear is insured through my renter's insurance (AAA), I don't think the cost of your gear matters as long as you have enough coverage. I calculated how much the insurance would pay me out if I had my gear stolen (taking into consideration depreciation) and purchased the applicable coverage. I've always been with AAA so I can't recommend anyone else. If I were a pro, my gear wouldn't be covered under renter's insurance and I would need a whole different policy altogether

MM - Monochrom M body, in my case I have the CCD version or M9 version
MP - Film body not to be confused with the M-P (240P) digital body
18 SEM - 18mm f/3.8 Super Elmar M lens
50 DR - 50mm Summicron lens, the dual range version or sometimes called close focus
35 FLE - 35mm Summilux lens, the current version with the floating lens element
 

xdayv

Top Veteran
Mar 22, 2013
103
Tacloban City, Philippines
Dave
Philippines is relatively safe. As long as you do your part to protect your gear. If you are accompanied by a local, you are most likely safe all the way. At least you have a guide where to and not to go. Most people won't recognize a Leica, especially if you covered the red dot logo. For the D5, I suggest you use one of those third-party straps w/c doesn't scream Nikon D5. Good luck!
 

carlb

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2013
123
I don't travel with a full-frame leica, but more toward portability than fear of being robbed.

I had tried the 35mm Voightlander "pancake" with the M9, testing it toward "compact for travel," but had to rule that out. Flare was uncontrolled:



The Day the Flare Stood Still
by Carl B, on Flickr



Rohan, at moment of alien beam-up
by Carl B, on Flickr

Lately I've been "gassing" for a gray typ 109 toward travel and daily. I don't *need* it, but ... :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
i do think potential loss is a factor. so is physical environment. wet, humid, dusty etc environs can not only wreak havoc with equipment, but also dampen the user experience and results. we have a phrase here, 'horses for courses'. there is absolutely no need to be mentally or physically uncomfortable when, for comparatively little expense, you can get say a weatherproof pentax with weatherproof lens that will yield excellent results while providing comfort in difficult environments.
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Aug 19, 2013
68
I used to live in the Philippines but have not been in the Philippines for over 10 years now. One thing that you need to have a awareness of your surrounding. Always be alert. There are many beautiful places to visit in that country, at the same time, there are several areas where you should stay away. In the big city like Manila, the worry when you are travelling with a camera bag are snatchers. I would probably taped up the camera to hide the brand. I like Dave's suggestion of using a different strap. There are also many areas that you might want to avoid. You might not lose your camera bag but wallet might be a different story. If you have someone local that you are travelling with, that is probably the best as they know where you should avoid. I think the X-U is a safe camera. Tape it up and it will look just like any other P&S camera. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
 
My gear is insured through my renter's insurance (AAA), I don't think the cost of your gear matters as long as you have enough coverage. I calculated how much the insurance would pay me out if I had my gear stolen (taking into consideration depreciation) and purchased the applicable coverage. I've always been with AAA so I can't recommend anyone else. If I were a pro, my gear wouldn't be covered under renter's insurance and I would need a whole different policy altogether

MM - Monochrom M body, in my case I have the CCD version or M9 version
MP - Film body not to be confused with the M-P (240P) digital body
18 SEM - 18mm f/3.8 Super Elmar M lens
50 DR - 50mm Summicron lens, the dual range version or sometimes called close focus
35 FLE - 35mm Summilux lens, the current version with the floating lens element
I'm not sure whether the same situation arises in the US as it does in the UK but I suspect the systems are broadly similar. On most household type policies, cover is on a "new for old" basis - i.e. it doesn't matter how old your kit is, you set the sum insured for it at the level required to provide a new replacement as near the same functionality as the equipment you have, but no better. Not easy if you have older, obsolete film gear. In that case, many insurers will provide an indemnity / agreed value option - based on replacing your gear with the same equipment and in the same condition.

Also, although you may have insured all your kit (which may run into many $thousands) there will usually be a policy limit on the maximum amount (in $) the company will pay for any one claim - i.e. they would not expect you to have all your kit with you at any one time. The limit is either a standard amount of a few $thou or a percentage of the total. There may also be a limit on the value of any one item.

Therefore, to ensure you have adequate coverage, you need to do more than simply have the right total value added to your sums insured. Check the replacement basis of cover (new for old or indemnity, etc), check the amount that the policy provides (in total and for any one item) whilst you are out of your home - whether in your country or whilst abroad. Also check if there's a maximum number of days that cove applies whilst out of your country - this is often 28/30 consecutive days and maybe a maximum of xx days in any one period of insurance.

I've worked in the insurance profession since 1979 and it's true to say that people make assumptions about their cover and only ever check the policy when they're about to make a claim. We all take the time to check our flight tickets and passports. We should do the same when it comes to making sure we don't buy inappropriate insurance cover for our treasured possessions. It's our responsibility to make sure we have the right cover - not the insurance company's. If in any doubt, use an agent / broker as they should know the insurance market and what's available better than any of us.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
PaulJ - Most of what you listed above is correct in terms of my renters insurance. However I do believe there are differences between US vs. UK policies, as some of what you have described is not what I experienced having gone through the claims process, some of which I described within another thread and will not reiterate here to avoid dragging this thread further off topic. I definitely agree that one should review their coverage regularly particularly before traveling abroad with an expensive kit.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom